Cloud Atlas Reviews
Update: I've now seen it twice. Honestly the second half is where all the action is. But the first half is where they build up the whole story. I would never watch this movie again. It is just way too long and way too many stories going on.
It did feel a bit preachy, especially toward the end, like it was trying to ram the moral of the story down our throats,but that did seem to provide all the bits of plot with a destination, so that's understandable.
When the credits rolled, I felt I had experienced something - and I liked it.
Glad I didn't waste money to watch this, but how do I get back 172 minutes of my life?
Sadly, it had neither.
There were many things I liked about this film. The acting is superb from a talented cast, all taking on a multitude of characters from all of the stories. It was surprising to see that this actually worked thanks to some dedicated performances from the cast and some interesting prosthetics.
The exception was a few weak turns from Hugo weaving who failed to distance some of his characters from each other. Particular credit to Hugh Grant and Tom Hanks for their variety and commitment.
The film is undeniably beautiful and is certainly ambitious. It is done on a truly massive scale with stories that literally span millennia. I enjoyed the interlinking symbols from each story to carry into the next (the pacific diary, the letters to friend, the novel...) and this becomes the only linear part of an otherwise mind-bending narrative.
Philosophical ideas of the afterlife, souls linking across the ages, fate and consequence are all dealt with here. Some of which I agreed with, others I did not. The themes of love and freedom and the good in people are also prominent throughout and at least provide an underlying message that resonates with the audience.
This is a film of epic proportions and so credit is due to at least put together something that makes some sense. I did find it entertaining to watch and thought provoking once the credits rolled.
Definitely worth a watch, be you a lover of the book or someone who has never picked it up.